Have you ever loved a country so much, you couldn’t wait to revisit ASAP? That’s how I feel about every single country on this list. Even before I finished my trip, I was already planning my next escape to revisit certain sights as well as plan for sights I didn’t have time to check out. I do have to admit that I’m becoming a country collector and it’s a challenge to balance my desire to revisit some of my favorite places along with a desire to see somewhere new (especially when you only have 3 weeks of paid vacation a year). When I’m ready to explore a familiar country, here are the top five countries I will be debating on revisiting:
I have a particular soft spot and preference for Latin American countries. Even though my Spanish language skills are atrocious (especially for someone who took four years of Spanish as a straight A student), there is something about visiting a foreign country where you have the option and ability to speak their language. From its historical ruins to culinary cuisine, Peru has a lot to offer with its culture, history and landscape.
I spent 10 days in Peru, divided between the capital of Lima, to time on Lake Titicaca, to Cusco and Machu Picchu region. Island hopping on Lake Titicaca was my favorite place to explore, with the ability to meet the locals living on the different islands and experience their way of life. However, even though Machu Picchu has become extremely crowded with tourism, it is too incredible not to be missed.
Unfortunately, 10 days is not nearly enough time to visit this beautiful diverse country. Next time I visit, I plan to hike to Rainbow Mountain, known for its unworldly view and colors, as well as the Nazca Lines and a trekking adventure along the Inca trail.
There’s something quite magical about the Land Down Under. From the Opera House’s unique architecture to the adventurous playgrounds of the Outback and The Great Barrier Reef, it’s impossible to be bored in Australia. I chose to visit during the end of their fall/beginning of winter season, which is much more mild coming from Northeast US. During the end of May to mid-June, Sydney hosts its annual festival of lights, music and ideas, known as “VIVID Sydney”. For adrenaline junkies, a night climb on the Sydney Harbor Bridge is an absolute must during the festival for some stunning views of the city.
Of course no trip to Australia would have been complete without visiting The Great Barrier Reef. While I was crunched on time, I opted for a day trip to The Great Barrier Reef from the Gold Coast to Lady Elliot Island. The day trip included a seaplane ride to and from the island, snorkeling in The Great Barrier Reef, lunch, and some time relaxing on the island. Next time I visit, I hope to actually spend a night or two at the eco-resort.
I couldn’t think of a better country to embark on an African safari than Tanzania! The Great Wildebeest Migration across the Serengeti has been one of the most amazing natural wonders to witness. It is truly incredible to view a variety of species (mostly) co-existing with one another. While many safaris can cost at least $1,000-2,000 plus USD for a few days, there are camping options for the adventurous and budget-friendly travelers for around $600-800 USD. There was something surreal about hearing hyenas howling in the night, as well as having a water buffalo lick your tent…
While I was fortunate enough to spend a few days out in the savanna and a few days in the city of Dar es Salaam, a week is not nearly enough time to explore this diverse country. Next time I visit, I am hoping to be in decent shape to spend a week hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, then end my trip diving at Mafia Island and exploring Zanzibar.
Five years ago, I never knew of anyone who had visited the land of fire and ice. However, the last few years, tourism has soared for Iceland and with good reason. The country has some incredible, otherworldly landscapes and plenty of waterfalls to chase after. I chose to visit in May during the “midnight sun”, where the sun does not quite “set” but rather stays at “twilight” throughout the evening.
From sulphurous mud springs to geysers and glaciers, Iceland’s landscapes often feel like the setting of a science fiction novel. We ended up skipping the touristic Blue Lagoon and swapped it for the Mývatn Nature Baths. However, next time I return, I might have to see what the hype of the Blue Lagoon is all about, as well as scuba dive between the tectonic plates.
Besides the US and Canada, Nicaragua is the only other country I’ve been to more than once. I took two separate volunteer trips here back in 2012 and 2013 and both times I have fallen in love with the country and its people. Nicaraguans are some of the nicest and most hospitable people I have ever met. Between environmentally sustainable projects, we also spent time exploring an active volcano, zip-lining in Managua, and horseback riding on the beach. Nicaragua is an affordable tropical getaway that will always have a place in my heart.
Do you have any favorite destinations you enjoy or plan to revisit?